KEEP ON KEEPING ON
Living on purpose, as I define it, is to become aware that we were all created to serve some specific function in life.
Some of these purposes might be lofty, attracting the accolades of the world. Some of these purposes may be down-to-earth, such as raising a child, teaching or engaging in some other activity that may not be as acknowledged by society but is still significant. The pursuit of your life is to come into that purpose. And the waste of your life is to miss that purpose. The problem, though, for most of us is discovering what our purpose is. Here are a few mistakes we make while looking for it, ones that can distract or misdirect us.
Just because you admire something doesn't mean it's your purpose. Don't let yourself be distracted by something that should be a hobby. If you, like me, enjoy music, that doesn't necessarily mean you should be the one directing the song. Buy some CDs or enjoy music on your headset, just don't let it take your focus. Usually, when things drive us crazy, we're taught to walk away or ignore them. But sometimes it can help to take a closer look. For example, if somebody does something incorrectly, and their error drives us crazy, we shouldn't criticise the person—we should look at what our inability to tolerate their error can show us. What you cannot stand to see done badly is exactly where you ought to work. If you can't stand it when the church programmes are done incorrectly or when the invitations are not sent out in time— if you want things in order—maybe you should consider working in an area of administration. Other people might not even be bothered by these things, but your inability to put up with anything less than excellence means that you have an interest there. You need to recognise, "This is an area I have passion about."
Despite the many tears that threatened to dilute it, your faith did not dissolve. Your heart is still pumping. Your pulse is a sign that this world needs you. All of your achievements, confusion, accolades, issues, awards, and pain prepared you for the journey. You know you were made for so much more than this. Long before you became aware that life could be more bitter than sweet, you believed that nothing was impossible.
I want to speak to the child who once believed she could jump off of her bed and fly. I want to speak to the person who was so afraid of the dark that she needed her door cracked to let in a glimmer of light. Remember how you laughed without fear of how your joy would sound to other people and cried without concern that other people would think you were weak? You were fully alive. You felt everything and didn’t need anything to numb you from your reality.
Each minute that passes by is trans- forming you. Biologically, your hair begins to turn gray, and your skin and muscles begin making a slow, graceful dance into older age. This is the beautiful cycle of life. On the inside, learning to change and control the way we think about what we’ve faced does not come so naturally. Even more challenging is having the heart to look toward the future with optimism. In fact, it takes great intentionality. But what I learned is that God does not promise us smooth sailing.
It has been said that still waters run deep, but that is only true for bodies of water that are confined to a certain space. The deepest waters, like oceans and seas, have constant waves and ripples that make them the opposite of still; they are the epitome of powerful.
The ocean is a part of an ecosystem that is much larger than what the eye can see. The consistent waves of the ocean tes- tify to the ocean’s tremendous power. There is life springing forth from its depths and winds grazing the top of the water that creates an unstoppable current. What’s marvelous to consider is that the same Source that created the ocean, filled it with life, and set it in rhythm, created you. You are as unstoppable and powerful as the ocean!